Blaine County School Superintendent Lisa Stroh will be leaving her post to become superintendent of the Valdez, Alaska, school district.
The Valdez school district gave Stroh a two-year contract with an option for a third year. She will earn $125,000 annually, a substantial increase over her $44,000 salary in Blaine County.
Stroh taught in Alaska for several years, and later served as principal of Havre’s Highland Park School. After three years at Highland Park, she became a professor at Fort Belknap College, now known as Aaniih Nakoda College, and was elected superintendent three years ago.
“I am so impressed with Valdez as a city, there’s just a lot of good things going on,” she told the Valdez Star newspaper. “Not to mention that it’s beautiful.”
“The people are just incredible,” she told the Star. “There’s just something to draw you back.”
As Blaine County superintendent, she oversaw operations at all the districts in the county, but in recent months, her focus was on the turmoil in the Hays-Lodge Pole district.
Stroh spearheaded efforts to remove John Doney as president of the school board. She accused him of abuse of power.
Seven misdemeanor charges were filed against Doney, and Blaine County commissioners suspended him from office. But the charges were dismissed after District Court Judge John McKeon ruled that the alleged offenses took place on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and thus should be heard in federal court. Federal authorities have not decided whether to file charges.
In the meantime, Doney has returned to the school board, but not as president. George Horse Capture Jr., who had been appointed by Stroh to fill a vacancy, has been elected president.